Let me start this blog off by saying im a huge Baltimore Ravens fan! Dont ever forget it! Although sitting around @ work today(yeah, that sounds bad), I realized... Wow, look at all the changes happening in the Big Apple! The strange thing is, the Giants are still a legitimate playoff team, despite all these changes.
The Two Headed Monster?:
The Giants backfield is the only part of the team that experienced any type of loss this year, with Derrick Ward landing in Tampa. Which isn't even that much of a loss, considering they had a 3 running back tandem last season. Leaving the G-Men with the 1-2 punch of Ahmad Bradshaw and the ever impressive Brandon Jacobs. Ward ran the ball 182 times last season for 1,025yds. Those touches will now be spread between Jacobs and Bradshaw. Although Jacobs' size and downfield running style are the proven strenght of this offense in the red zone, with 15 TD's in the 08 campaign.
Quite the battle at WR:
As we all know, Plaxico Burress will be far from football this year after he Cheddar Bob'd himself. Clearly that is a huge loss downfield for the Giants. But let us not forget they're missing an experienced receiver in Amani Toomer who is now a free agent. I think we can all agree that Steve Smith is a given go-to guy this year. He recorded 57 catches last season for 577 yds, which led the team.
The battle will be between Domenik Hixon, Sinorice Moss, and rookies Ramses Barden & Hakeem Nicks.
The #2 spot should go to Hixon, who should finally emerge as a legit threat to defense's in '09. He played in every game last year, with 43 rec. for 596yds and 2td's. But let's not forget he was returning kicks.
Mathias Kiwanuka: "He's one of the fastest guys you'll see with the ball in his hands."
I like Moss, but his been injury plague since he broke into the league out of the U. He was held to only 6 games last season. But he's a great outside threat for Eli. He tweaked his hammy in the OTA's but should be fine for the start of training camp.
The battle I look forward to the most will be the rookies Nicks and Barden. Hakeem Nicks was drafted in the 1st round out of UNC to be a starter. I like his style, he's plenty of swagger and can come up with big plays when it counts. Well, maybe not yet.. the whole rookie thing ya know!?
Ramses Barden is 6'6-227lbs out of Cal-Poly S.L.O.?? Yeah, that's what I said! Now go to youtube and check out highlights. Ok, maybe those are small DB's... but they look like infants next to him. Seriously, check it out.
The Giants aquired big time players and are getting there best d-linemen back. They aquired Rocky Bernard from Seattle (15G - 55Tackles - 4Sacks - 1FF). And, Chris Canty, "2008 Comeback Player of the Year" from Dallas. Last year, the defensive line was spanked with injuries. Justin Tuck, Barry Cofield & Fred Robbins all missed significant time to injuries. Kiwanuka is also in the mix this year. Oh, and what's the othe dude's name? Osi...mm.. Umenyiora? Yeah, that's it! He's back to! When you have 7 big time Linemen, you're bound to be great. Even if you lost your defensive coordinator. Luckily they selected Bill sheridan for the job, considering he was the Giants LB coach.
We'll see if everybody can stay healthy through a grueling training camp and offseason. From there, we should have a good idea where the NY Giants are going this year. We should have somewhat of a mold from the division early on... considering the played the Redskins and @ Dallas in weeks 1 & 2.
Enjoy camp everyone!